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9 MORE easy X-mas fat-loss strategies

Posted by Joel Marion

As promised and in continuation of yesterday’s article, here are 9 MORE x-mas week fat loss strategies to help you stave off unwanted weight this week!

Strategy #9: Go Non-Alcoholic

Don’t get me wrong, I like to have a few beers or a glass of wine from time to time, so I’m not going to tell you to completely give up alcohol throughout the holidays.

But, what I will suggest is that the majority of your beverages at holiday get-togethers be of the non-alcoholic variety.

Simply put, alcoholic beverages are perhaps the easiest way to add unnecessary calories to your daily total, and unfortunately, it doesn’t end with just the calorie total.

Excessive alcohol intake also creates a hormonal environment in the body very conducive to fat storage, making those calories much more likely to negatively impact the number that shows next time you step on the scale.

So, what’s “excessive” or “how much is too much”. Well, I think we all know that. If you’re regularly getting “tipsy” or drinking to the point of intoxication, then you’re physique is going to take a hit for it.

Enjoy a (non-sugary) drink or two when appropriate, but stick with non-calorie beverages otherwise.

Strategy #10: Modify Your Plate

Sometimes you just want to enjoy what’s there without having to be picky, choosey, or limit your selections.

If that’s the case, here’s a tip that will absolutely keep you from overdoing it while keeping your calorie intake in check:

Use dessert sized plates.

Yep, just go ahead and grab a plate from the dessert line and then head over to the “dinner” line.

Controlling portion size just happens to be one of the best ways you can regulate calorie intake without necessarily giving up your favorite foods.

Smaller plate = smaller portions, and with smaller portions come fewer calories across the board.

As an added benefit, research has shown that people tend to overeat and eat beyond the point of “fullness” when large portions are in front of them. With the smaller plate option, you’ll likely be very content when you finish without “mindlessly” continuing to stuff yourself just because the food is there in front of you.

Strategy #11: If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Eat It

Learning to be selective will prove to be a highly-helpful skill when approaching holiday meals, parties, and buffet lines.

Simply put, you don’t need to eat everything that’s there. If we’re being completely honest, we probably don’t even really like everything that we toss on our plate and instead just include it because it’s available.

So, here’s another valuable suggestion: If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t eat it. As you go through the line or as foods are passed along the table, only dish out your absolute favorites while skipping over the selections that you can probably do without.

Stock Up on the “Good Stuff”

In addition to choosing your favorites, whatever veggies are available, piling them on your plate. They’re filling, will compliment the other items on your plate, and will easily help you adhere to the next rule.

Strategy #12: One and Done

Here’s a realistic insight:

Most of the weight we put on during the holiday season comes from the second (and sometimes third) helping, not the first.

And while it’s easy to go back in for more, a great way to cut out half the calories you’d normally eat at a holiday function is to limit yourself to only one helping.

So, go ahead and fill up your plate (remember, we’re using smaller plates), but once you’re done, you’re done.

Adhere to this one rule alone and you’ll automatically cut in half your calorie intake this holiday season.

Strategy #13: Make the “Announcement”

Here’s perhaps the easiest way to avoid going back for seconds.

My good friend Vince DelMonte hooked me this tip as while back, and as simple as it is, it works unbelievably well.

In fact, I actually did this at the dinner table the other night when out with friends, and it was easily the most comfortable social situation I’ve ever been in while sticking to my diet and moving forward to my goals.

When you arrive at a party or sit down to the table, let people know what you’ve committed to.

Something as simple as “Hey, just want to let everyone know, I’m on a mission to drop some pounds. This food looks amazing, and I plan to enjoy a full plate, but if you see me back in the buffet line, kick my butt into gear.”

People respect that and they’ll back you up.

From then on out, you never have to worry about people who “don’t know” your goals constantly offering you food, and beyond that, it’s a huge source of accountability for you.

I can guarantee that when you put this simple strategy into practice, you won’t even think of going in for seconds. It’s extremely easy to resist once you give people “expectations” for you to live up to.

Strategy #14: Chew, Chew, Chew

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but let me ask you this.

Do you ever really make a conscious effort to take your time between mouthfuls? Probably not.

A good rule of thumb is to chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing while giving yourself a bit of a breather between bites.

Trust me, the food will still be there.

Eating slowly and with a high chew-count gives your body time to realize it’s getting full—in the end you’ll be just as content while consuming far fewer calories.

Consciously give it a try, and I guarantee it will make a difference.

Strategy #15: Compensate

Fact is, you’re going to consume more calories from November through January than you normally would at other times of year, even if its just moderately more—that’s reality.

A natural combatant would then be to increase your physical activity to burn more calories. Walk more, run more, throw in an extra gym session or stay a bit longer than usual—whatever you can do to be more active and burn more calories during this time will go a long way.

Strategy #16: Write It Down

In addition to the “announcement” tip above, another great way to establish accountability is to keep a food journal and daily exercise log.

While you may or may not be used to doing this, during times where it’s easy to go off track, keeping a journal of some sort is exceptionally helpful to keep you in check.

There’s just something about having something in writing and tracking your progress simply throughout the day that makes you that much more apt to “stick to it”.

Strategy #17: Serve Yourself “Half” First

Here’s an idea that can make the small plate method even more effective:

Serve yourself only “half” first, filling up the plate half-way and then taking time to sit, eat slowly, chew, and enjoy what’s there.

Then, you have the added bonus of being able to go back for the other half!

It’s funny how simple psychology works, but even though it’s the same amount, you just feel like you’re eating more when you’re able to “go back” for more.

Enjoy today’s post?  Which was your favorite strategy?  And  what strategies do YOU personally use to help avoid weight gain at special holiday events and parties?  Drop your comments below!

Talk to you in the comments section,



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25 comments - add yours
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Wouldn’t Nr 18 be “Lay off the sugars”?

Personally i like Nr 15.

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#14 – I read someplace that chewing your food 30 times is good because it helps you digest it. This may vary with the the of food. Like chew steak more than mashed potatoes.

#16 – Maybe you’d decide not to eat something because you don’t want to take the trouble to write it down. You may decide to only have 10 items rather than 20 at the big meal because it’s easier to write down.

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All good common sense stuff but its so hard to ‘want’ to remember that at this time of year but my favourite it to limit t one helping… the worse is when all the food is on the same table maybe if I go sit in the corner by myself? …haha
Merry Christmas

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The only problem I have with this is that the “eat only the foods you really love” conflicts with that “eat protein” from yesterday. :) And I’m not sure if the “get a dessert plate instead of a regular plate” is supposed to happen at the same time as “take only half” AND the “tell everyone not to let you go up for seconds”. Sounds like not very much food. Of course, if you’ve already followed the “eat before you go,” they might all work together.

Great tips! Thanks, Joel, and Merry Christmas!

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Joel, I really like the idea of serve yourself half first (using the dessert plate) and then going back for the other half! This is my third week on CYWT and I can tell my stomach and appetite has shrunk using your program! Thanks Joel for the great tips. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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#13 is not a good idea in my family or among my friends. If I tell them I am comitted to loose weight. They will do whatever is possible to make me fail. They will say I am crazy, or I am not overweight, etc.

I like the other ones.

Thank you, Merry Christmas!!!!

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I train very hard 5 days a week – very hard and have a cheat day on sunday…on christmas I will enjoy the season without thinking about calories.I am already drunk and I only write this because the weight is our problem issue every day and for the holidays we should enjoy our family friends and what we like more and not be concerned about the sad things.We might weigh like few pounds more monday but its holidays we have a lot of time to be concerned about it after…its my thought! I love your blog and advices Joel but this time i will enjoy my tequila shots my champagne and cider….

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Hey Joel,

No. 10 – helped me avoid eating too much at many a company Christmas party. Another thing that helps me at family get togethers, holiday parties, etc. and is easy to do, is to engage in conversation while you eat – you will chew your food slower and eat much less than you would if you kept quiet.


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I always use the “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it” rule and love it. I often use the small plate rule even at home, and it helps. I really like the idea of beginning with half a serving, and then having the option to finish out with the other half if you don’t already feel full.

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More great strategies. I think the idea of public accountability is huge and can be a big motivator to help you reach your goals (with anything in life, not just fitness!).


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I like the idea of eating only half first and then going for seconds.

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When planning the menu, include lots of things you don’t like!

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For me, telling people I’m watching my weight has been pretty successful. It helps that I’ve dropped 16 pounds in about 10 weeks (since being on the 1000 Calorie Challenge). My friends and family have notice the change. At first I thought I would get grief from people, like Clara has experienced. But I was surprised to find that no one (at a Christmas eve party we were at encouraged me to eat more or have dessert). In fact a few people were congratulating me and expressing envy about my discipline. I don’t usually like to drone on a about my diet and exercise regimen but several people wanted to hear about the whole thing!

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I love these tips; however, I agree with Raymond that it is easy to forget these when you’re actually AT the party! I’m thinking of making up an abbreviated list of these suggestions so I can keep it in my wallet so I have it to pull out at the event when I need it most.
Thanks for all the “free” information and tips. I appreciate it!
Have a good holiday, everyone! ;-)

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I used all of these actually, and they do work.
However, in my culture it’s rude to only take one helping. Therefore I use a dessert sized plate, and take three super small helpings, therefore adding up to one! It works and no one gets offended and thinks I dislike their food :)

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I got through Thanksgiving without gaining any weight, and I plan to do the same for Christmas. It helps that I am working the evening sift tonight, so I will not be sitting around stuffing my face. We had some food here at work for all of us Christmas, but I bypassed the sweets, and had grapes instead. I only eat dessert once a week or so, maybe a little more this time of year, but only once a day, for sure, not at every meal. Grapes and citrus fruits usually do it for me. I have worked hard and lost 67 pounds in about 4 months, so all that hard work is not going to waste. We had a technician visit here from Charlotte and he actually went home and told his wife about how I lost all this weight. He has even been motivated by my success to lose some of his own weight. If I can motivate even one person to get healthy, then it is completely worth it!

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Joel, kind of off topic question but hoping you’ll answer me anyway –

Having some trouble finding a really good multi-vitamin. All the ones I look at either don’t have certain vitamins/minerals i’m looking for.. or they are Synthetic, not Natural, so I know I could only be absorbing as low as 3-5% of the actual stuff in it (if it even has what they say is on the label). Good multi-vitamins are not cheap because they are more expensive to make, so i’m not going to buy the Centrum crap.. if you could let me know that would be great so I can check it out and see if it is legit. Thanks Joel, your the man.


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I think the “announcement” strategy is a good one. In the past, when I was in weight loss mode, I posted my weight on my Facebook page once a week and told my friends to give me a hard time if I was not making progress. This is very motivational because you don’t want to disappoint your friends or yourself. When you know that you are going to be posting your weight in a few days, it puts just enough pressure on you to stick to the plan.

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All of these are great tips. The good part is, none of these will spoil the meals either. You can still enjoy it just as much or even more (because you know you aren’t getting sloppy and overweight).

I put out a list with some similar information but it looks like you beat me to the punch!

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I-ve gone into avoiding parties, just go to some, and pass up most. Your tips are very good.

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Wow, you are the most reliable in the world at presenting a description of just precisely how this operates. This is truly a life saver for me.Thanks!!!

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